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[in-fuh-muh s] /ˈɪn fə məs/
having an extremely bad reputation:
an infamous city.
deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable:
an infamous deed.
  1. deprived of certain rights as a citizen, as a consequence of conviction of certain offenses.
  2. of or relating to offenses involving such deprivation.
Origin of infamous
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin infām(is) (see infamy) + -ous
Related forms
infamously, adverb
infamousness, noun
Can be confused
famous, infamous, notorious (see synonym study at famous)
1. disreputable, ill-famed, notorious. 2. disgraceful, scandalous; nefarious, odious, wicked, shocking, vile, base, heinous, villainous.
1. reputable. 2. praiseworthy, admirable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for infamously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He has treated her infamously; that is why she will not live with him and does not speak of him.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • How cruel, how infamously unfeeling Ernest thought he had been.

    The Way of All Flesh Samuel Butler
  • I could not contain myself at seeing a lady so infamously insulted.

    Valerie Frederick Marryat
  • He has treated me infamously; I will not bother you with that now.

    Dariel R. D. Blackmore
  • "She was infamously poisoned last evening," replied the abbe, sadly.

    The Honor of the Name Emile Gaboriau
British Dictionary definitions for infamously


having a bad reputation; notorious
causing or deserving a bad reputation; shocking: infamous conduct
(criminal law, formerly)
  1. (of a person) deprived of certain rights of citizenship on conviction of certain offences
  2. (of a crime or punishment) entailing such deprivation
Derived Forms
infamously, adverb
infamousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infamously



late 14c., from Medieval Latin infamosus, from Latin in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + famosus "celebrated" (see famous). Meaning influenced by Latin infamis "of ill fame" (see infamy). As a legal term, "disqualified from certain rights of citizens in consequence of conviction of certain crimes" (late 14c.). Related: Infamously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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